Overall there are not that many foreclosures in Marin County. Right now, there are alot of what we call "short sales" A short sale is a home that the seller needs to sell and is on the market for less then what is owed. The lender must approve of the price of the offer. These take time as lenders are overwhelmed right now. These homes are on the Multiple Listing Service with a realtor.
It is very rare that in Marin a foreclosed home is going to be a great deal. Alot lender s will still look at what the market value is for a home and price it accordingly. If a lender is just looking to just retrieve what is owed and the home ends up at the courthouse, there are proffessional investors with cash who do this for a living you will be competing with, the prices usually go way up from the orginal price. You also must have at least 20% to put down as well as a pre-approved loan before you show up to court. When a home is up for auction at a courthouse, a Real Estate Agent is not allowed to assist you. You must buy the house sight unseen "as is" with no investigations. If you are still interested in foreclosures I would google foreclosures in Marin County, there are websites that you can buy that will list of foreclosed homes with the lender's name and phone number. My advise is seek a good mortgage broker first to find out what you can afford. Prices in San Rafael and Novato have dropped recently and you may be able to afford a home now without having to deal with foreclosures.